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Murder on the Village Green: A Diane Dimbleby Cozy Mystery Paperback – May 27, 2016
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I generally enjoy cozy mysteries, and English small village stories. From the description,
it should have been a fun book for me to read. I didn't quite finish it.
My complaints are thus; First, the story really isn't a mystery. By that I mean, there is no plotting, there are no clues, no red-herrings, no suspects. There is no way for the reader to try to deduce the answer. It is simply a story. That was disappointing. I can't imagine why this author thinks she has written a mystery (though, to be fair, I have seen other authors do similarly and I doubt they are aware that they too have not actually written a mystery.) Because I enjoy the plotting and clues and deduction aspect of reading mysteries, I was very disappointed there were none of those things in this story. For me, that alone is reason enough not to ready any others by this author.
Secondly, though the setting would suggest it is a cozy, the theme is far too gruesome for a true cozy. Even if that were my only objection, it would be reason enough for me to be leery of reading any other books by this author.
Thirdly, the author chose to write it in an awkward, 'third person present tense,' style of prose which I found completely unappealing. I've never seen another book written in this strange syntax. As an example, instead of saying something like this, "She walked across the room and picked up the jar. She stood there a moment, examining it." This author's style is to use this approach, "She walks across the room. She picks up the jar. She stands there examining it." I try not to be too curmudgeonly, but reading that odd style was so uncomfortable to me, so again, even if that were the only reason not to read any further stories by this author, this would be reason enough.
Lastly, and this isn't really a complaint as much as an observation, the story is exceedingly short. If it took you two hours to read, you would be reading at a leisurely pace. I have no problem with quick reads per se, but this is the type of thing just about anybody could write in a day or two. Maybe a week at a push. A good mystery story takes some effort, some actual plotting and planning, some outlining. I get the sense this is the type of story someone could just sit down and write from start to finish without a lot of effort or thought invested in making it a really interesting story/mystery for the reader.
On the plus side, there weren't too many grammatical and spelling mistakes.
If you don't object to any of the things I found disappointing (lack of actual mystery, bit of a gruesome theme, odd syntax) then you may very well love the story. Good reading to you.
STORY-LINE THE DIANE DIMBLEBY MURDER COLLECTION: MURDER ON THE VILLAGE GREEN BY PENELOPE SOTHEBY:
Diane Dimbleby, a retired school teacher, has a talent for solving crime. She carries her own set of booties and gloves because you never know when a crime will occur. Diane sees a man sitting on the village green which appears to be reading. On closer inspection, she discovers he's dead. Although Inspector Darrell Crothers is on the case, Diane immediately starts her investigation. After all, she has helped him in the past, and she is ready, willing, and able, to help with this investigation. Diane will come face to face with evil and a crime organization willing to do anything to safeguard its enterprise. However, they did not count on Diane's smarts and Inspector Crothers' determination. My book reviews of The Diane Dimbleby Murder Collection: Murder On The Village Green follows.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:
As everyone who subscribes to my blog or reads my book reviews is aware, I love the cozy mystery genre. If you have never read a cozy mystery, you are missing out on fantastic entertainment. Cozies have main characters who are usually strong independent women. Also, a cozy mystery does not contain the graphic nature of a full-blown mystery. Without a doubt, Murder On The Village Green is a true representative of this genre.
Murder On The Village Green features retired teacher Diane Dimbleby. After retirement, Diane discovered she has a talent for solving crime. I love Diane's character. Far from a retired little old lady, Sotheby developed Diane into an aspiring novelist and crime fighter. Although living in a small country village of Apple Mews, Diane finds murder outside her door; or more correctly, across the road on the village green.
Of course, Sotheby included a crime-fighting Inspector who doesn't know if he should praise Diane or scold her. Sotheby's characterization of Inspector Darrell Crothers is excellent. A dedicated officer, he has heart and compassion for fighting crime and justice. Although he is slow to admit it, he admires Diane. Far from the, stay out of my way and mind your own business officer, Darrell appreciates Diane's mind and her talent for sifting through the clues. Sotheby placed Diane in great peril resulting in the reader seeing Darrell's emotions come to the surface.
Murder On The Village Green is an entertaining quick read. I found the premise intriguing with plotting which held my attention. Sotheby gave the reader a look at village life. A place where no one locks their doors and everyone knows their neighbor; a pastoral setting in which I would love to live. Sotheby's scenes are vivid and transition smoothly. Her writing style flows well, making The Diane Dimbleby Murder Collection: Murder On The Village Green an easy book to read. I would not hesitate to buy this collection for myself or a friend.
THE DIANE DIMBLEBY MURDER COLLECTION RECOMMENDATION:
FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:
Also, I borrowed this book from Kindle Unlimited and received a copy from the author. I chose to review the book with an honest cozy mystery novel/book reviews voluntarily. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews online and on my blog, are my opinions.
If you love the English villages and murders, this book is for you. Ms Dimbleby and Inspector Caruthers make a good crime solving pair.
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